PITTSBURGH — The Steelers will head into Indianapolis to win a must-win game, but it will not be under the guise of a quarterback controversy leading up to the game. No, Mitch Trubisky will start, while Mason Rudolph remains his backup. Head coach Mike Tomlin revealed that Rudolph will get more opportunities this week leading up to prep, but there will be no open competition.
“I don’t know that we’re evaluating practice performance in that way at this time of the year,” Tomlin said. “He’ll have an opportunity to get some work. We’ll evaluate that work and we’ll evaluate his readiness, but we’re not opening up competition and things of that nature. It’s just not an environment for that as we work.”
Trubisky struggled mightily in their loss to the New England Patriots. He did not play well in relief of Pickett against the Cardinals, either. Over his career, Trubisky has put the ball in harm’s way, leading to significant questions on whether he is the best quarterback moving forward. But Tomlin has no such questions, and the Steelers will go with Trubisky instead of turning to Rudolph in any capacity.
“Mason will get an opportunity to get some reps, certainly,” Tomlin said. “You don’t get the opportunity to get a lot of that, particularly when you’re at the three spot. When you’re at the two spot, and you have a full week, certainly. Last week, there were a limited amount of reps for all parties involved, and so he certainly will get a bigger opportunity this week from a preparation standpoint.”
The Steelers’ third-round pick out of Oklahoma State in 2018, Rudolph has played in 17 games and made ten starts, with a career completion percentage of 61.5% and an 80.9 passer rating. Tomlin believes it is reasonable to expect Trubisky to get better after struggling in his first season start.